Synopses & Reviews
Welcome to Monroe, Louisiana, corrugated paper capital of the North Delta parishes, home of the Louisiana Passion Play and the Christian business weekly Prophet and Loss
, a city whose library hosts a dysfunctional Great Books seminar, whose civil theater has produced a musical-comedy version of King Lear, and whose cypress tress have been known to drip snakes. Folks here have been studying the genetically deficient Fontana family for generations, ever since Peregrine Fontana sloshed his way out of the swamp in 1840. Now it's 1972 and Billy Wayne Fontana is the last survivor of this sorry familial line.
In this hilarious and wholly original tragi-comic romp you'll meet Billy Wayne, who has been raised and groomed for the priesthood but who leaves his spiritual calling for Earlene, a sassy woman who writes country music lyrics at her kitchen table; George Binwaddie, a Pakistani messiah and motel owner who is driven to extraordinary acts of violence; Angelo Candella, a Vietnam hero and State House official who runs his office from a wheelchair; and Moon Pie Fontana, Billy Wayne's offspring, a physically disabled child-star radio evangelist. Hold on, this is a wild and wacky ride through the Louisiana backwaters.
As quirky and imaginative as the best of John Irving, culled with the literary affects of Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and William Faulkner all of whom Dufresne was compared to in reviews from his debut collection The Way That Water Enters Stone this first novel about marriage, politics, friendship, love, and the quest for salvation will break your heart and make you laugh at the same time.
Heralded as a highly readable Faulkner, Dufresne creates characters who enlighten, confound, entertain, and touch readers with their unique perceptions and philosophies on life. His brilliant first novel recounts the trials and tribulations of the Fontana family--and leaves readers with a legacy of raucous laughter.
Back in print: A favorite novel by "a generous and lyric storyteller" (San Francisco Chronicle) known for his tragicomic voice and unforgettable characters.
Billy Wayne is the sole survivor of his oddball line of marginal folk. When he acquires a priestly vocation it seems likely he will be the last Fontana, until hearing a young woman's confession propels him into an impulsive marriage.
About the Author
John Dufresne's works of fiction include Louisiana PowerandLight, Love Warps the Mind a Little, Deep in the Shade of Paradise, and Johnny Too Bad. He is also the author of a book on fiction writing: The Lie That Tells a Truth. He lives in Dania Beach, Florida.